Title: Weregirls: Birth of the Pack
Author: Petru Popescu
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
"When sixteen-year-old Lily Willison and her friends Nikki, Arielle, and Grazia start up a girls' soccer club and name their teem the Weregirls, they soon find themselves drawn into a battle between good and evil. Lily's father, a supernatural guardian, makes contact with Lily after his death and reveals that she has magical powers - as do her friends.
As the girls learn more about their powers, they inadvertently awaken the Breed, sworn enemies of the Weregirls. To fight the Weregirls, the Breed calls upon Lily's soccer rival - the rich, conceited, and arrogant Andra Hewlit. Desperate for powers of her own, Andra will do anything she can to destroy Lily and the Weregirls..."
I like to keep an open mind when I start a book. You may have noticed that I tend to recommend books to specific "types" of people - or stick it in a genre. This is because I believe there is an audience for any story. It's not often that I read a book that I actually don't like. Even if it doesn't directly appeal to me, I'm sure it will appeal to someone else.
That being said, I had some pretty big problems with this book. Not the story - the story was an interesting idea and I kinda wanted to see where it went (which is why I finished reading the book). It was the execution of the story that really put me off this book.
I'm hoping this isn't just a "grammar/English snob" thing... but the sentence structure and descriptions of things were very awkward. I had a hard time getting to the meat of the story when I had to keep stopping to deconstruct a sentence to get it's meaning. Here's an example:
"...so Josh has no choice but to honk and maltreat the traffic around the Cherokee, braking hard and close behind back bumpers, darting ahead again..." I had to read this sentence at least 5-10 times. Can you maltreat traffic? I know you can maltreat people.... but objects? I dunno. It just sounded weird.
There's also the fact that the book doesn't sound like a teenage girl. The phrases she uses, the way she talks, the thoughts she has... not so much girly - or today's teen. The only point where I thought, "ah! An actual work teens use today!" was when he wrote that something was "sick."
Now, I do realize that the author is from Romania. This and his gender makes this book a hard one. I do know that he's written other books in English, but I have no idea how those are. I was also struck by something he said in his acknowledgements at the end of the book. He wrote about the challenges of writing for young adults (which I will admit is true)... but that it was a challenge he's been wanting to take on. I guess my thought is if you're taking this on just because it's a challenge - perhaps you shouldn't be doing it.
I know there are people out there who loved this book. I read other reviews while I reading (to see if anyone was feeling the way I was), and I realize that people liked it. I think this is probably because of the story - and it's originality. So I'll give it props there, but I'm not likely to read the second book when it comes out. Sorry about that.
But if you're into Native American folklore, you may really enjoy this book for the topic alone.
Other Blog Reviews:
Harriet Klausner Reviews
Genrefluent Teens Talk About Books